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  • 1. Patricia Seybold Group / Case StudyDeveloping Change Agents to Spawn GrassRoots Innovation and Transformation in AfricaLessons Learned from Rural Africa Could Apply to Your Organization!By Patricia B. Seybold, CEO and Senior Consultant, Patricia Seybold Group April 9, 2009NETTING IT OUT Take-Aways for Fostering Innovation and Replicating the Innovation ProcessThe Uganda Rural Development and TrainingProgramme (URDT) has become a hotbed of Here are the take-aways from URDT’s proveninnovative practices in integrated rural devel- approach to grass roots innovation which hasopment. In this report, we focus on the innova- been successful in rural Uganda for over 20tions that URDT has created and the unique years:innovation transfer process that they are cur-rently piloting through the training and deploy- Build a Culture of Customer-Led Innovationment of committed young women as changeagents in rural communities. • Promote a creative orientation (within and outside your organization).Many other development efforts have failed tocreate long-lasting results because too often • Instill multi-disciplinary, holistic systemsany progress made by an individual is cut short thinking as a cultural normby the weakest link in that person’s life. For ex-ample, a child might successfully enroll in • Engage community members and stake-school, but then die of malaria. Or a woman holders in co-designmight learn how to start a small business, butthen be prevented by her husband from doing How to Replicate Your Innovation Engineso. • Attract and train visionary change agents.URDT provides an integrated approach basedon the concept that to achieve lasting develop- • Ground them in creative orientation, vision-ment, people must become empowered in all ary leadership, customer co-design, cross-areas of their lives, including education, health, disciplinary systems thinking, and practicaleconomic self-reliance, human rights, and civic skills.participation. Since its inception, URDT hashelped thousands of people improve their lives • Send them out to seed and nurture innova-and has received accolades from international tion by working with customers in the field;organizations for its innovative approaches. Let them learn by doing, failing, and learn- ing from their mistakes. Provide coachingURDT’s training of local people, especially and celebrate successes.women, to become leaders and creators, ischanging the way rural communities work. • Network your change agents together andMight similar practices work to spark customer- to the “mother ship” to share learnings andled innovation among your stakeholders? innovations from the field. Direct link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1571/cs04-09-09cc Customer Scenario and Customers.com are registered trademarks and Customer Flight Deck and Quality of Customer Experience (QCE) are service marks of the Patricia Seybold Group Inc. • P.O. Box 290565, Boston, MA 02129 USA • www.customers.com • Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.
  • 2. 2 • Case Study The Uganda Rural Development and Training (URDT) Programme Does Not Rescue People It Empowers Them to Create Better Lives From Poverty To Prosperity Photo: Nick Korn Photo: URDTURDT’s innovations in rural development have improved the lives of thousands of rural Ugandans in nine coun-ties. The house on the left is the typical rural house. On the right, African Rural University students are talkingwith a villager whose diversified farming has enabled him to begin construction on a new, brick home. TheURDT approach ignites the creative drive within the people it touches.HOW DO YOU DEVELOP A SUCCESSFUL leaders would be interested in piloting a new form ofCUSTOMER-LED INNOVATION PRACTICE? grass roots community development. The founders believed that getting aid from outside experts was How do you build a successful, repeatable cus- the wrong way for villagers in rural Africa to do de-tomer-led innovation practice and culture? We tend velopment work. Instead, they wanted the local peo-to look for innovation best practices and examples ple to create their own home-grown path tofrom corporate R&D labs, vibrant online customer prosperity.communities, innovation consultancies, innovation The three founders began by facilitating a com-exchanges and competitions. But there are many munity action planning session under a mango treeother places where innovation thrives. Uganda Rural in the small village. The villagers created a list ofDevelopment and Training Programme (URDT) in priorities (clean water, sanitation, more prosperousKagadi, Uganda is one. farms, education and jobs for their children, health- care, better roads, electricity, etc.) Then they beganURDT: Celebrates Twenty-Two Years of mobilizing to develop the know-how and to buildSuccessful Grass Roots Innovation the capacity to change their circumstances. Now, 22 years later, the town has 30 businesses, Founded in 1987, URDT grew out of the evolv- a 100-bed hospital, prosperous farms, and a positiveing needs of the members of Kagadi, a small rural “can do” energy. Electricity has now reached Kagadicommunity in the Kibaale District in western town. The roads are improving. (The journey fromUganda. The three original founders—Mwalimu Kampala used to take two days by car; now it takesMusheshe, Ephrem Rutaboba, and Silvana Franco— five hours.) The town and the surrounding regioncame to the district looking for a community whoseCustomers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 3. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 3 The Inception of URDT: How Do We Create Lasting Change?In 1987, URDT founders looked at rural development and asked: “What is wrong with this picture? No change ishappening.”have become more prosperous. Infant mortality has access to resources to help local people take the nec-decreased dramatically, as has domestic violence essary actions to improve their lives. URDT hasand corruption. evolved its programs organically over the years, to URDT’s original three-person team has grown to serve a region that now includes 6 million people ina dedicated staff (now about 130 people) on an 80- 9 districts.acre campus that was deeded to them by a grateful For 22 years, this grass roots organization haslocal county. The campus is a beehive of activity been innovating in the field of integrated rural de-with three schools, a demonstration farm, a commu- velopment. Although not as well known as thenity radio station, a computer and Internet center, Barefoot College 1 in India or Grameen Bank 2 , thesocial and land rights counseling, a solar technology birthplace of micro-credit in Sri Lanka, URDT is acenter, and many other trades being learned and ap- hotbed of innovative, yet pragmatic practices forplied. There are typically about 500 people on cam- sustainable rural development.pus at any time. The students and staff work withcommunity leaders, local farmers, businesspeople,educators, churches, police, courts, and local non-government organizations (NGOs) to develop anddeliver education, training, practical know-how, andUnauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 4. 4 • Case StudyESTABLISHING THE FRAMEWORK FOR Envision the OutcomesINNOVATION You Want to Create What’s the approach that URDT uses to inno- URDT promotes avate? It’s a customer co-design approach in which Creative Orientation. Athe multi-disciplinary staff work directly with their local woman is describ-“customers”—the residents of the Kibaale district ing how she creates a(and surrounding districts) and the students of all picture in her head ofages who flock to the URDT campus. The goal for the vision she wants toevery encounter is to spark the creative spirit in each achieve.person and to unleash their imagination. URDT’smotto: “Awakening the Sleeping Genius in Each of From the beginning,Us.” URDT has conversed with people about theirPromote a Creative Orientation own capabilities to cre- URDT’s repeatable innovation process is based ate what they truly want.on the following proven approach which the three These are images fromfounders adapted from Robert Fritz’s Creative Proc- the Village Courseess3: scroll they carried around 20 years ago• Encourage people to develop a vision for the life and used under the they want to have trees to discuss princi- ples for using choice,• Ask them to objectively describe the current re- imagination, and mental ality of their present circumstances focus to make progress. You can see the local language written under the• Ask them to notice and to cherish the structural English. Most of the villagers they worked with in the tension between their vision and their current re- beginning were illiterate, so the pictures were most ality important. Conversations were always held in the local language, since people who have not gone to school• Encourage them to commit themselves to do not speak English, which is the national language achieve their visions. and is taught in school.• Help them brainstorm ways to achieve their vi- sions This is another frame from the original scroll of the Vil-• Support them in taking the steps required to at- lage Course, that teaches tain their visions principles of the creative process. Images, local lan-• Help them adjust, fail, and experiment but still guage, and English maintain the vision and the structural tension (Uganda’s official language) convey the point.Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 5. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 5 Kagadi Villagers: What Do Kagadi District, 1987 Current Reality You Want to Create? Kagadi Villagers’ VisionUnauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 6. 6 • Case StudyInstill Multi-Disciplinary, Holistic Systems innovative approaches that URDT, its clients, andThinking as a Cultural Norm stakeholders have developed that are successful. Each of these initiatives is innovative; together they In addition to promoting a creative orientation, form a powerful integrated approach to rural com-the second ingredient in URDT’s “secret sauce” is munity development:systems thinking.4 This approach came naturally toURDT’s three founders, but they also validated their COMMUNITY RADIO. The use of community radioown experience and instincts by studying with Peter is the communications mechanism for outreach, edu-Senge at MIT. cation, and citizen involvement. By the mid-90s, the community members in Kagadi had accomplishedURDT’s method includes the following principles: many infrastructure projects (water, sanitation, nutri- tion), but they were concerned about the violence• Take a holistic view of every issue and corruption that plagued the region. They wanted more of a voice in local affairs. But they said, “in• Use systems thinking to spot interdependencies order to participate, we need information!” When and unintended consequences asked, “what’s the best way to get information to everyone?” they all agreed it would be via radio.Engage Community Members and You don’t have to be literate to pick up importantStakeholders in Co-Design information on the radio. Battery-powered radios are URDT practices participatory, customer co- relatively inexpensive.design, which includes two important dimensions: 1) So, URDT launched its KKCR community radiothe customers/citizens/stakeholders design their own station in 2000. It was the first FM Community Ra-solutions and therefore embrace and adopt them. 2) dio station in East Africa. KKCR broadcasts 18By including people with very different expertise hours per day in seven local languages and English.and perspectives, you gain the advantage of cross- The radio reaches 10 districts in Western Uganda. Itdisciplinary, cross-gender, and cross-age points of has an avid listenership of over two million people.view in the design and implementation of any solu- The radio programming is developed and producedtion. URDT’s approach to innovation includes these by the staff, students, and community members.additional principles: Community members co-design and present pro-• Leverage local knowledge and expertise grams on the radio.• Engage participants of all ages and genders There’s an open door policy. You can walk in to talk• Employ cross-disciplinary teams on the radio or call in to talk on the radio. Many What are the kinds of innovations that URDT’s people use the radio to let their friends and familylocal staff, local residents and partners have created? members know where they are and what they’re do-Let’s take a look. ing. Children have a voice on the radio—both the girls from the URDT Girls’ School—who develop and air dramas about domestic violence, local cor-URDT’S INNOVATIONS ruption, children’s rights, to name a few topics—and the children from the local community, who waitInnovative Approaches to Integrated Rural patiently in line dressed in their best clothes on Sun-Development days for their turn on the air. Although many development organizations Outreach programming includes agricultural educa-preach integrated development, there are few suc- tion for local farmers, HIV/AIDs education, pro-cessful models in the practice of grass roots (bot- grams for and by local women, as well as visionarytoms up/citizen-led rather than top down/expert-led) leadership training.integrated rural development. Here are some of theCustomers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 7. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 7 Community Radio In 2000, URDT launched the first community radio station in East Africa. It provides information sharing, training, and education in the local language to over 4 million listeners. It is enormously popular. Every mud hut has its transistor radio. People travel on foot for miles to come speak on the radio. And now with cell phones, people call in on talk shows. Radio announcements help organize people for group projects like road and bridge building, for example. Every Sunday the children are free to speak, and a hundred line up to wait their turn to greet their grannies or recite their own poem.A group of local women are preparing a radio show forbroadcast. On Children’s Day, the local kids take over the radio programming for the whole day!Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 8. 8 • Case StudyANTI-CORRUPTION CITIZEN ACTIVISM. URDT the families are quickly rubber-stamped by the localfosters open dialogue and debate on the radio among authorities, because they are fair and they stick. Thislocal politicians, tribal leaders, and citizens about saves time in the local court system and yields morecorruption, violence, and infrastructure priorities. consistent settlements, than those that are typicallyCitizens call in to the radio to report corruption and arrived at in the local justice system.crime. Politicians defend themselves on the radio.Due to citizen engagement on the radio around local The radio is used to educate people about their rightsgovernment and policy issues, voter turnout in the and to adjudicate issues on the air. One of the mostdistricts served by the radio has increased from 40 to popular radio shows is Odembos Maloba’s call-in85 percent! show. Odembos is the human rights officer at URDT. He uses the radio to give voice to people who haveGENDER EDUCATION. “Having a strong woman at suffered from domestic or institutional abuse.your side,” “making decisions as a family,” “educat- Odembos uses his weekly radio program to expose aing girls to increase the value of their contributions particularly egregious example of child neglect, do-to the community,” are all val- mestic violence, or human rightsues that are integrated into all of abuses. He asks the aggrievedURDT’s programs, from voca- party to tell their story on the air.tional skills training, to farm Due to citizen engagement They describe how they wereextension services, to manage- on the radio around local treated by local police or officials,ment training, to radio pro- government and policy issues, how many different avenues theygramming. had to use to get redress, and who voter turnout in the districts stood in their way. He gives theseFor example, when my husband, served by the radio victims a voice and they educateTom Hagan, interviewed local has increased from 40 to others so that they will knowentrepreneurs about what they what to do in a similar situationlearned at the URDT vocational 85 percent! and won’t suffer the same obsta-institute that helped them start cles. He takes calls and sugges-their businesses and become tions from avid listeners, and hesuccessful, he was expecting them to talk about the arbitrates publicly, illustrating the principles of jus-trade skills they learned, the tools they were pro- tice, fairness, and explaining the Ugandan penalvided, or the management training they received, but code and the constitution. This way people knowthey all cited something else: Gender Studies! what their rights are, so the local officials can’t abuse their power.All of URDT’s courses include a grounding in theunderstanding of the ways that men and women HIV/AIDS EDUCATION. URDT developed an inno-communicate differently, what they value, and how vative outreach program for HIV/AIDS education.they can work together productively, both in the They noticed that frank and free discussion of thehousehold and in business. In fact, the Institute’s issues related to HIV/AIDS and risky sexual behav-vocational courses pair up young men and women to ior is often blocked by deeply held views that menlearn and practice welding, carpentry, food process- have about women and sex and that women haveing, and other trades. about men and sex. Dialogue and shared learning stop when men are blaming women and womenSOCIAL RIGHTS AND LAND RIGHTS blaming men about such issues as who is or is notADJUDICATION. The URDT campus has become a using condoms and whose behavior is causing themagnet for family members seeking redress from spread of HIV. So URDT worked with village lead-grievances and for dealing with land disputes. The ers to develop a program for “Village Reflection andon-campus counseling services provide arbitration Dialogue on Gender and HIV/AIDS.”and issues resolution. The settlements agreed to byCustomers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 9. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 9 Men and Women Learn Vocational Trades Together The URDT Institute for Vocational Studies trains young men and women in carpentry, metal work, brick making, food processing and entrepreneurship. In a recent survey of graduates of this Institute who are now running their own businesses and employing others, the one thing every man said they especially remembered learning at the Institute was to treat women more equally. In all URDT’s programs there is a component on gender equality and human rights.Human Rights and Land Rights CounselingPeople come to the URDT campus from miles around toget counseling, arbitration and adjudication when theyfeel their rights have been violated. Women come tocomplain about domestic violence. Families come toseek redress when land rights are disputed. Peoplecome seeking help in dealing with officials and tounderstand the laws. Children also come to complain ifthey are not being treated well at home. Statistics show that poverty indicators, like disease, infant mortality, and maternal morbidity, drop dramatically as girls are educated. HIV/AIDS education needs to start with children.Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 10. 10 • Case StudyThe HIV/AIDS Dialogue program is delivered in The farm operations include a wide variety of grainslocal languages. It includes drama, dialog, education, and vegetables, including coffee and tea, cows, pigs,facilitation, and is supported by radio programming. and chickens, bee-keeping, agro forestry, woodlotsOver 2,000 field guides were used and 19 commu- management, and a maize mill. URDT’s agriculturalnity-based organizations in 19 sub-counties have innovations include:taken part in the program with dramatic results. Thelocal hospitals have had to increase their HIV testing INTRODUCED FISH FARMING. In visiting a re-programs because the number of people who have gion to the south in the 1990s, the villagers in Ka-asked to be tested for HIV/AIDS increases dramati- hunge listed “swamps” as part of their current reality.cally, each time these awareness courses are run In discussions, they decided that those swampsboth in villages and on the radio. could become a resource. Why not turn the swamps into ponds and raise fish? URDT developed fishHELPING FARMERS WITH HIV. Working together food using a combination of chicken manure andwith local farmers who have contracted HIV, URDT leaves from Russian cornflake plants. The fish pondsdeveloped a support program for farmers to success- are surrounded with mint to keep the snakes away.fully live and work with HIV and remain productive. Women fish farmers now have over six fish pondsThis program is promulgated via Community Radio. using the URDT model. These women have alsoOne of the infected farmers who was close to death organized their own preschool for their small chil-10 years ago, now hosts a regular radio program dren to allow themselves to do a more productiveabout living productively with HIV. He has destig- job as fish farmers.matized the disease for farmers and their families. RECYCLING WASTE INTO ENERGY. Animal ma-PREVENTING HIV/AIDS IN CHILDREN. The most nure is converted to bio-gas and used to power cook-recent innovative program in HIV/AIDS education ing stoves.and outreach is currently being developed to reachsexually active children and teens. Many children INTENSIVE CASH CROP PRODUCTION. URDTwho live with their parents in one-room huts begin and local farmers realized that for many families, themimicking their parents’ love-making at a very early plots of land become smaller and smaller as lease-age. Many children are born HIV-positive. That holdings are subdivided among the children in themeans that the virus can be spreading even before a family. So they have created a number of small-child reaches puberty. footprint farming methods, in which you can grow a cash crop on a very small plot of land. One such in-In talking with young girls who are helping in the vention is a small footprint greenhouse that is madedesign of the new training and education materials, from sticks and plastic sheeting with tomatoesJacquelyn Akello, programme director at URDT re- grown vertically on strings. It produces abundantported, “these girls have no idea that they are risking harvests and pays off the investment quickly.their lives. They believe that if they don’t have ababy in their teens, they will never be able to have NEW ORGANIC CROPS FOR THE REGION. Localchildren, and they believe that if they stay in school, farmers were seeking new crops that that can bethey will never attract a husband.” transported long distances over bad roads in order to be exported from this land-locked rural country.Agricultural Innovations URDT’s agronomists worked with exporters of or- ganic produce to develop new crops and certified The URDT campus includes a demonstration organic agricultural practices and to test them onfarm that is used to educate local farmers, the stu- local farms. Now sesame seed and chili beans aredents at the Girls School, Institute students, and the now being grown by 4,000 local farmers and soldUniversity students. The URDT Farm practices sus- for export through an organic export fair trade farm-tainable agriculture, making use of the principles of ers cooperative.organic farming, perma culture, including compost-ing, mulching, crop rotation, and organic fertilizers.Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 11. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 11 After working with people in their own villages for 10 years, URDT acquired 80 acres of land for a campus. The first priority was to establish a demonstration organic farm so that people could learn more quickly and see good agricultural practices in operation. The farm is still used for training, as well as for income generation and for feeding the staff and students on the campus.URDT trained subsistence farmers to produce cashcrops using the demonstration farm on the URDTcampus and extension programs. They taught farmersto move from mono-culture to planting complementaryplants. This Tomato Greenhouse can be built and stocked for a few hundred dollars. Plants grow vertically, and produce dramatic yields. These plants are being tended by the Girls’ School students.Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 12. 12 • Case StudyAGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE VIA AIDS treatment and prevention, land rights, andCOMMUNITY RADIO. A local woman farmer re- human rights. They present these plays in villagesported, “from the ‘Wake up and Work’ radio pro- and on the radio.gram, we learned that people even with very smallcapital could start selling greens in the market. How The Ugandan Ministry of Education is now inter-has this improved our life? Well, for one, we never ested in this curriculum for broader adoption in otherlack salt, sugar, and paraffin for cooking, and we rural districts. They have asked URDT to train 1,000always have soap. This was not the case before! teachers this year, to turn them from teachers into‘And all of this simply because of the new informa- facilitators of integrated learning.tion!’” GIRLS’ SCHOOL’S TWO-GENERATION EDUCATION. The URDT Girls’ school uses aEducation Innovations unique two-generation approach to education. It re- There are three formal educational institutions on quires girls families to participate in their daughtersthe campus—the Girls’ School, the Vocational and education through functional adult literacy trainingBusiness Institute, and the African Rural University and encourages them to study the same curriculumfor Women. They all share the same campus re- their daughters are learning.sources and work together on projects. For example,the girls learn to make chairs which they take home GIRLS’ SCHOOL’S BACK HOME PROJECTS. Asat the end of the term. The car- part of the two-Generation Edu-pentry students make beds for cation and the girls’ visionarythe Girls boarding school. All of Girls families incomes leadership training, the girls andthe courses share the same foun- their families are graded ondation in the creative process, typically increase by "Back Home" projects—aftervisionary leadership, and gender 20 percent during the 4 years being guided in visioning byequality. In addition, all of the that they send their daughters their daughters, each familystaff and adult students on the away to school. picks a project to accomplishcampus meet for a one-hour during the school term (whileseminar on systems thinking their daughter is away at school):each morning—honing their build a new house, build a latrine,analysis skills by examining local issues that are raise a new crop or livestock, improve home or vil-arising in the region. lage sanitation, make their farm more productive (drying racks, crop rotation, complimentary multi-GIRLS’ SCHOOL’S CO-CURRICULUM. This crop planting ). Their daughters provide the exper-unique approach links education to rural develop- tise and guidance to their families and communitiesment. The URDT Girls School educates girls 12 to during their vacation breaks. In fact, Monica, a 14-18 in both Ugandan national curriculum AND prac- year old reported proudly that there was usually atical “how to’s” for rural life. The school provides line of local people turning up at her door duringformal education (Uganda’s National Education each school vacation—people who were looking forBoard curriculum) as well as informal training advice about how to improve their homes and farms.through co-curricular activities that enhance theirskills in leadership, commercial-oriented sustainable As a result, of the two-generation education andagricultural, entrepreneurship, appropriate technolo- their back home projects, girls families incomesgies (solar, computer, internet), media outreach, as typically increase by 20 percent during the 4 yearswell as crafts (furniture, baskets, clothing) for sales that they send their daughters away to school. It’s aand home use. Girls write, produce and present good trade-off since these girls are usually theplays and musicals to train villagers on issues such “workers” in the family, hauling water, tendingas political corruption, domestic violence, HIV crops, gathering food, cooking food, babysitting.Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 13. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 13The URDT Girls’SchoolThe Girls’ School is aboarding school for240 girls from poorrural families (12 to 18years old). They learnthe Uganda curriculum+ visionary leadership,gender equality, health& nutrition, organicfarming, journalism,solar energy,computers &appropriatetechnology.Two-GenerationEducationA student teachesparents and relativeshow to decide whatoutcome they want toachieve and how tomake it happen!Girls’ SchoolStudents Learn toMake Furniture forTheir HomesParents admire thefurniture theirdaughters have madefor their homes.Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 14. 14 • Case Study Back Home Projects: Monica’s New House! At the age of 14, Monica helped her family grow more crops to produce enough income so that they could design and build a new home (left). The older home is still used as the kitchen.Back Home Projects: Family’s NewPiggeryAnother girl’s family began a piggery, andextended their gardens greatly. Back Home Projects: Under Construction The URDT staff and guests visits this family’s Back Home Project to take stock. Improvements include a drying rack for dishes, and a new garden crop, and an extension to the house.Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 15. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 15TESTING THE GIRLS’ SCHOOL MODEL IN DAY ral development from its own experience. The stu-SCHOOLS. The results from the Girls’ School have dents learn by doing, both on campus and in the field.been dramatic, but now parents are asking whether This is a three-year degree program, which is nowthey couldn’t have the same kind of education for concluding its pilot phase. The curriculum has beengirls (and boys) who are not in a boarding school co-designed and debugged by the first cohort of 30setting. URDT has launched two day schools—one students, who are now completing their third-year infor primary education and one for secondary educa- the program.tion, to see whether the co-curriculum, the two-generation education and the Back Home projects APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGIESwill work as well for students who go home every INNOVATIONSnight. URDT considers “appropriate technologies” toINSTITUTE’S RURAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP be those that are appropriate for rural use and adop-CURRICULUM. The Institute is designed to provide tion. Some of these are older techniques that Afri-young men and women the vocational and manage- cans used to use but which had been forgotten. Oncement training required to run their own non-farm the need is identified, URDT looks first to villagebusinesses. The innovative approach that URDT elders for local knowledge which might be com-takes is that no matter what career the student is pre- bined with modern techniques and available materi-paring for, or supplementing with new skills, they als. Among the technologies that URDT hasalso receive training in visionary leadership, gender invented, applied and adapted for rural use are:studies, in the use and maintenance of rural tech-nologies, business management, and other aspects of COMMUNITY-LED BORE HOLE AND WATERentrepreneurship. In fact, one of the hallmarks of the SOURCE PROTECTION. In Uganda, as in manyvocational training programs at the Institute is the other parts of Africa, the drilling of wells and thefact that young men and women are put together in installation of pumps to pump sanitary drinking wa-teams to learn their trades, so that men and women ter is typically performed by water treatment experts,are learning by doing side by side—this is unique in who are paid by the county government or by anthis part of Africa. NGO. The problem with this approach is that theThe Institute provides training in accounting, mar- villagers do not consider the resulting spring to beketing, and business administration, as well as car- “theirs,” so they do not maintain it; nor do they nec-pentry, metal working, auto mechanics, solar energy, essarily have the know-how to do so. URDT’s firstwelding, tailoring, food processing, and journalism. innovation was to show local men and women howThey also provide business training support for local to protect their bore holes and to keep them in sani-artisans, water technicians, health workers, and tra- tary condition. Over 20 years later, the community-ditional birth attendants. They provide and refurbish maintained water sources are still in operation, whiletools, and provide loans for small businesses. the county-provided bore holes typically last only four to five years.THE AFRICAN RURAL UNIVERSITY FORWOMEN (ARU) TRAINS COMMUNITY CHANGE HUMAN-POWERED IRRIGATION SYSTEMS.AGENTS. This is the only university program that Farmers, working together with URDT, have devel-prepares women to be community transformation oped a set of irrigation methods to bring water fromleaders and entrepreneurs in rural African communi- a fish pond, stream, or other reliable source of waterties. The curriculum is derived from URDT’s 22- for crops, using gravity, pulleys, and local materials.years of learning about what works in integrated ru- By cranking a wheel, and activating a series of pul- leys, the farmer can irrigate his fields.Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 16. 16 • Case Study The URDT Institute for Vocational, Business and Media Studies The URDT Institute for Business, Vocational and Media Studies, trains 175 local young men and women per year to be entrepreneurs with a combination of skills and management education.Institute Grads Are Job-Creators;Not Job-SeekersMukuru Moses, URDT Institute graduate and proudowner of Kagadi Metal Works, where he has trained8 apprentices. The Institute Has Spawned Local Entrepreneurship • 56 community-based • 30 New Businesses in Kagadi technicians creating and town, including: maintaining various o Brick-making technologies in commu- o Furniture company nities o Clothing company • 460 households access o Bakery solar electricity and its o Restaurant various benefits o Hotels • 1 graduate launched a • 10 New Training Cooperatives string of nursery schools in craft, carpentry, metal work • 6 Women grads and mechanics around Kagadi launched a Micro- sub-countyAnother Institute graduate makes high quality Finance institution • New Farmers’ Cooperativefurniture for a living. has built a road to Kagadi, warehouse and officeCustomers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 17. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 17 Appropriate TechnologiesOne of the first things people identified Village Built and Maintained Bore Holes for Clean Waterthat they wanted in their lives wasclean water. Groups of peopleprotected their own springs, which theyhave continued to maintain over 2decades. Now over 34,000 people inthe district have access to clean waterthrough their own efforts.A simple but ingenious system is used A Rope and Washer Pump for Micro-Irrigationto pump water from the fish pond to thetop of a platform. Simple gravity takesthe water from there through a hoseout to the fields that are at a higherlevel than the pond.Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 18. 18 • Case StudyThis is a biogas plant on campus, BioGas Production on the URDT Campususing manure to run the kitchen stoves.Enoch Kyambadde, who is the headagronomist, demonstrates itsoperation.URDT trains solar technicians, and URDT’s Solar Technology Centermany homes in the district now usesolar power to provide lights at night.The district had no electrical poweruntil last year, and still most peoplehave no access to it. This solar centeris also used to charge batteries thatvillagers can use to power their homesand bring them back to be rechargedfrom solar energy. In front of thebuilding are charcoal coolers, and solardrying racks. Solar dryers preservefruits and vegetables with no bacteria.URDT has a computer lab, Internet The Computer Labaccess via Satellite dish and WIFI oncampus.Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 19. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 19BIOGAS PRODUCTION AND DEPLOYMENT. WOMENS’ MICRO-FINANCE COOP. URDTURDT pioneered the recycling of methane from ma- spawned a locally-developed micro-finance bankingnure for homes and farms. They have developed a system founded by three women graduates ofsimple set up that any family can create out of lo- URDTs Institute. The first women’s’ lending groupcally available materials to transform methane from quickly grew to 11 such groups totaling 365 women.compost into enough cooking gas to cook their They then formed a micro-lending co-op.meals. LOANS FOR GIRLS’ FAMILIES’ FARMS. URDTCHARCOAL COOLERS. The use of charcoal to line provides loans for parents of the girls attending thewooden boxes to "refrigerate" perishable foods Girls School. These loans help families with their farms and are paid back from the productivity im-DRYING RACKS. An easy and sanitary way to pre- provements brought home by their 12- to 18-yearserve foods and dry dishes; this is a practice that has old daughters!been re-born and re-introduced into homes and vil-lages through URDT outreach. CAMPUS ENTERPRISES. URDT has spawned a number of businesses on campus that produce reve-SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES. A single solar panel will nue. These include: battery charging, automotiveprovide light for a household after dark. Many repair, brick-making, furniture, timber, crops fromhouseholds can’t afford to install a solar panel, but the farm, milling of maize, computer and internetthey can afford to buy a battery and have it charged access, an on-campus store, catering services, trans-by a shared solar panel. But these panels need to be portation, and radio advertising. These on campusmaintained and batteries charged and swapped out. businesses provide about 40% of the revenues forURDT trains men and women to be solar technicians the organization, jobs and hands on business experi-to install and maintain solar systems and to establish ence for students.local battery charging facilities in the bush. Hun-dreds of households are now equipped with solar LOCAL BUSINESSES PROVIDE SKILLSenergy. TRAINING. Graduates of the Vocational Institute have spawned dozens of local businesses, from bicy-INTERNET CAFÉ, COMPUTER TRAINING, WIFI cle repair to furniture manufacture, clothing and res-ACCESS. I was amazed to discover URDT’s appe- taurants—whats unique about these businesses istite for computer technology years before electric that they are 1) successful, 2) they train new workers,power lines reached the campus. URDT was one of and 3) they are gender-conscious—women arethe first rural campuses to realize how empowering viewed as equal participants by the graduates of theit is for people to be able to use the Internet in an Institute. Each Institute graduate who starts a busi-untethered way. The campus installed a satellite dish ness typically trains four interns at a time and em-to gain access to the Internet in 2000. At the time, ploys three to four people. These graduates considerelectricity was provided by a combination of diesel it their duty to provide others with training in thegenerators and solar panels and batteries. WIFI was skills they have mastered.installed on campus in 2007, but its use had to becurtailed because the more people jumped on, the NEED FOR EQUIPMENT LEASING OR BUSINESShigher the monthly bills for Internet access. (Access LOANS. A need that has been identified, but not yetto broadband costs at least $1,000/month in rural satisfied, is a way to provide capital loans or leasesUganda—in a region in which the typical income is for rural businesses needing $5,000 to $50,000 to$1/day). procure capital equipment (e.g., machine tools, manufacturing equipment). Local banks now provideMICROFINANCE & BUSINESS farm loans and micro-loans, but there are no leasing programs or commercial loans available to small There were no banks in the region and no source capital-intensive businesses in rural areas.of financing for farmers.Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 20. 20 • Case StudyIt began with a group Women Institute Grads Created Their Own MicroFinance Arm in 1995of 6 women in 1995and quickly grew to 11groups of women—365; This prosperouswomen’s cooperativemicro-financeinstitution now servesseveral thousandcustomers. URDT’s Institute Students Build Furniture for the School The URDT Farm Feeds the 650 People on Campus and Still Has Produce to SellCustomers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 21. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 21HOW DO YOU REPLICATE SUCCESSFUL systems thinking, that it has become second natureINNOVATION PRACTICES? to them. They are trained in all aspects of rural de- velopment, from sanitation and nutrition, to agricul- For over 20 years, the Uganda Rural Develop- ture, to local trades and the use of appropriatement and Training Programme (URDT) has been technologies. They are well versed in the complexcatalyzing and practicing customer-led, participatory interplay of disease, family planning, cultural beliefs,grass roots innovation. URDT creates social and gender issues, human rights, land rights, and conflictbusiness entrepreneurs by 1) instilling in people the resolution. They know how to mobilize a commu-capacity to create and commit to a personal vision nity to develop its own community plan of actionand 2) providing them with the know-how and the and to tackle big projects, without waiting for hand-tools to mobilize themselves and others. URDT has outs or experts. They know how to inspire individu-been successful in engaging people in the local als to dream beyond the day to day and they cancommunity to co-create new programs and practices. show them how to tap the structural tension betweenURDT catalyzes action in its radio listeners, spurring their current reality and their vision to create mo-entrepreneurship. Innovation spreads in the villages mentum.in which the families of the girls’ in the Girls’School live. Innovation and entrepreneurship are Four Steps to Replicating an Engine ofspread in the areas in which its graduates reside and Innovationwork and/or where outreach or extension programstake place. The approach that URDT is taking to grow its in- How else can the URDT model of grass roots in- novative capacity may be appropriate for other busi-novation be more broadly replicated? nesses and not-for-profits. In many ways, it’s an approach that has been practiced by missionaries forReplicate Visionary Change Agents centuries. The difference however, is that its purpose is not to promulgate religion, but to spawn innova- Mwalimu Musheshe is convinced that the best tion and entrepreneurship, and to co-create innova-way to replicate URDT’s systemic approach to grass tive solutions to local problems and issues byroots innovation is not to clone more campuses in inspiring and energizing local people.other parts of Uganda or Africa, as the Barefoot Col-lege has done, but to clone himself! He wants to 1. Attract and train visionary change agents.educate “Musheshas,” as the ARU students callthemselves. 2. Ground them in creative orientation, visionary Here’s the URDT replication model: Create vi- leadership, customer co-design, cross-sionary leaders who are steeped in the experience disciplinary systems thinking, and practicalgained from 20+ years of trial and error in customer- skills.led grass roots rural development, and who arethemselves successful visionary leaders and social 3. Send them out to seed and nurture innovation byand business entrepreneurs. Send them into the rural working with customers in the field; Let themcountryside from which they came to “awaken the learn by doing, failing, and learning from theirsleeping geniuses” in their own villages. mistakes. Provide coaching and celebrate suc- The purpose of the African Rural University is to cesses.attract and educate women to be rural innovators,entrepreneurs and change agents in their own rural 4. Network them together and to the “mother ship.”communities, for them to be embraced as commu-nity transformation leaders. The graduates of ARUare so well versed in the creative orientation and inUnauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 22. 22 • Case StudyThe first class of ARU The African Rural University for Womenstudents.These women work ARU Students on Campushard academically andalso in the surroundingcommunities, learninghow to be leaders intransformative change.Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 23. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 23ATTRACT AND TRAIN VISIONARY CHANGE from a reactive, problem-solving orientation to aAGENTS. How do you attract the right kinds of peo- creative, visionary orientation. This takes time. Asple who will thrive and be successful as change with any skill, from becoming good at tennis to fly-agents and transformation leaders? What qualities ing a plane, you don’t master it overnight. But over aare you seeking? How can you screen for them? period of three years, it is possible to become mas- What URDT did was to promote the ARU pro- terful in approaching the world from a creative ori-gram over its community radio, as well as to circu- entation. It becomes second nature to develop alate information through local newspapers and via vision of the end results you want to achieve and toother NGOs. This publicity attracted women from all objectively observe all the details of the currentregions who were interested in attaining a University situation and context. You commit to achieving yourdegree but who might not be well-suited to become desired results even though you have no idea exactlychange agents. Applicants were carefully screened. how to proceed. Then you let the natural creativeThe program was carefully explained. Its goal was process flood you with ideas and possibilities, younot that of degree-granting, or of preparing students try out different options, get feedback, adjust, andfor work in a large business. continue to improvise your way to your goal. Candidates had to be able to raise enough funds Visionary Leadership. You become a leader byto pay their school fees ($150 per year), which dem- leading. You become a visionary leader by empow-onstrated their ability to mobilize resources. They ering others to create and articulate their own visionshad to be able to leave their families (many had hus- and to help them form a shared collective vision ofbands and children) for three years, which demon- the results they want to achieve. Each member ofstrated their ability to generate support from their your team wants to reach their vision for themselvesfamilies to pursue their own visions. Candidates had as well as for the group. When multiple stakeholdersto be clear that they would be working in their own have overlapping goals with conflicting priorities,home communities upon graduation and that they you create alignment by agreeing on a larger sharedwould be creating their own jobs and livelihoods, vision and outcome with clear parameters for suc-which demonstrated their entrepreneurial bent. cess and conditions of satisfaction for all. Then, you The result of the screening was largely successful. learn to mobilize the group by keeping the structuralThe candidates who actually enrolled in the three- tension between where they are and what they allyear program were committed to returning home to want to achieve and by keeping them inspired andtheir villages and to working in their own villages to committed to their shared and individual visions. Inimprove their own economic situation and that of the ARU program, the students take turns leadingtheir community members. The first cohort of ARU their own teams, leading teams of Girls’ School stu-students consisted of 32 students. Three years later, dents and Institute students, as well as mobilizing29 of them had completed the arduous three-year stakeholders on campus to undertake innovative pro-program (one death, and two pregnancies accounted jects. Then they are ready to begin working in thefor the attrition). local community.GROUND THEM IN CREATIVE ORIENTATION, Customer Co-Design. ARU change agents want toVISIONARY LEADERSHIP, CUSTOMER CO- empower and inspire others to create new ap-DESIGN, CROSS-DISCIPLINARY SYSTEMS proaches, not to be the experts who tell people whatTHINKING, AND PRACTICAL SKILLS. What kind to do. Therefore, every project begins with a cus-of training do visionary change agents need? What tomer co-design session. URDT calls this a Com-URDT has found is that you can’t learn to be an in- munity Action Planning Session—in which eachnovator or a leader by taking classes. You learn by group of stakeholders is led through a process ofdoing. articulating their visions, describing the current real- ity, and brainstorming the ideas they have for takingCreative Orientation. The most important skill that action to achieve their visions.these innovators need to internalize and to master ishow to shift their own orientation or world viewUnauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 24. 24 • Case StudyResty Namubiru, 2nd ARU Students in the Fieldyear ARU student,leading a communityworkshop in 2007. Thevillagers are beginningto talk about theirvisions and currentrealities together.Villagers participatingin their CommunityAction PlanningWorkshop in 2008.Grace Nyangomatakes notes during herpracticum in the field inthe Spring of 2009.Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 25. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 25Each group of stakeholders (e.g., men heads of public policy, government, land rights, social work,households, women heads of households, teenagers, etc.village elders, kids) presents their vision, their cur- After three years of interactive participation inrent reality, and their prioritized actions to the group these daily seminars, ARU students become profi-as a whole. The group then prioritizes across all of cient in looking at most issues in a holistic cross-the stakeholders’ plans to create a comprehensive set disciplinary manner.of quick wins and strategic projects they can all be- Practical Skills. Each ARU student acquires a rangegin to work on. The facilitators’ role is to help the of practical skills during her three-year tenure. Stu-customers articulate their visions clearly and to help dents study the indigenous crafts and know-howthem think creatively, rather than reactively. from different tribes and regions. They explore the The ARU students discovered that one of the physics of locally-designed irrigation systems. Theytools they used on campus—women’s circles— study the chemical properties of herbal remedies.provided an innovative approach to sustaining de- They discover the biology of different plants andvelopment progress in their communities. They their reactions to different types of fertilizers. Theyformed women’s circles to create a safe space for learn how to build latrines, make bricks, raise chick-women to come together and share their hopes and ens and pigs, make furniture, and grow a business.fears. These women’s circles, while started by thestudents, persisted after they left the village. They SEND THEM OUT TO SEED AND NURTUREare becoming part of the fabric of village life and INNOVATION BY WORKING WITH CUSTOMERSdecision-making. In a womens circle in one com- IN THE FIELD. The kind of entrepreneurship andmunity that the ARU students helped form and lead, innovation that ARU change agents learn to fosterone woman said, “There is no peace in my life. But requires engagement with customers as co-designersin this circle, I find hope for peace.” and co-creators.Cross-Disciplinary Systems Thinking. Mastering Starting in their first year of study, the studentsholistic systems thinking also takes time and practice. begin their field work doing community action plan-How do all of these different issues (beliefs, cultural ning, co-designing new radio programs, creatingnorms, current practices, health, nutrition, gender, new NGO programs by and with local communitylocal resources) interact with one another? What are members, and working with local entrepreneurs tothe causes and effects, what unintended conse- help them grow their businesses.quences did we foresee or miss? In the second year, they begin their own “back URDT provides daily training in systems think- home” projects in their local communities, workinging through interactive one-hour seminars held at the with their families and their community members tobeginning of each day in what is called the “Founda- create a new business venture or infrastructure pro-tion Course.” Each morning, all of the adults on ject that will contribute to increasing the prosperitycampus (200 or so) meet for an hour. Each morning of their own families and communities. (The idea issomeone raises a different issue, and the group con- to have built momentum and even a business thatsiders the historical background and local context, will become their livelihood by the time they gradu-identifies the forces at play and analyzes their sys- ate.)temic interplay. The participants in this daily semi- By the third year, ARU students engage in a one-nar change over time as new people arrive on month practicum, moving into a local communitycampus. They represent a range of specialties and and working with the residents to plan and start adisciplines as diverse as agriculture, engineering, life project for social or economic development. Thesciences, computers and communications technology, first group of third-year students completed theirprimary education, secondary education, social sci- Practicum projects in March, 2009. They worked inences, business, finance, marketing, gender studies, teams of two in each village.Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 26. 26 • Case StudyARU Change Agentsin TrainingTwo third-year ARUstudents taking abreak with theirhostess during their1-month practicum.A group of villagersbeing led in aCommunity ActionPlanning workshop bytwo ARU students.Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 27. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 27 Although each team of girls had a host family sighted to cooperative and visionary. Each community who had agreed to put them up and to introduce created tangible results within that one-month practi- them to the community, most of the rest of the cum. The ARU faculty came to coach the students and community residents were skeptical and standoffish. to hear progress reports from the members in each Instead of plunging directly into their Community village: Action Planning, the students instinctively realized that they should simply live with the people and con- My colleague, Martha Dolben reported: tribute in small ways. They began by cleaning up the inside and outside of the hut in which they were liv- “During our recent visit to Uganda, the third year ing. They hauled water, cleared brush, told stories to students were in their last week of their village prac- the children, and cooked meals. Then they began ticum and we were privileged to visit them. Susan asking questions: Who maintains the local spring? Warshauer, Nick Korn, faculty from African Rural Why do you think your children are sick? What University and I spent several afternoons being driven far down narrow dirt tracks to be greeted by a could you feed them that would make them health- gathering of men, women and children and two ARU ier? They worked hard, asked questions, and planted students. They were ready to explain their accom- ideas without giving advice. Within a couple of plishments of the past month: visions and current weeks, the villagers were ready to begin thinking realities articulated, groups formed, goals set, roads and planning together. So they invited interested repaired, wash rooms and drying racks built, gar- parties to participate in action planning sessions. dens dug and planted, and springs cleaned. Most Soon everyone arrived. Nobody wanted to be left important—interest and energy ignited. out! These visits gave me a much clearer picture of the conditions in which over 80% of Ugandans live. The projects the community members designed Sleeping on dirt floors; suffering insect and water- and worked on included: born diseases; walking long distances for water and firewood; illiterate, superstitious, and ignorant of ba- • Getting a local brick maker to train local youth sics in hygiene and health; working all day in the hot (young men and women) in brick-making. sun to grow cassava and stave off hunger. It is an existence few Americans I know could handle. Yet • Mobilizing a community to build a new road in the ARU students joined right in, living with the peo- order to make it easier and faster to get to mar- ple, and showing them how to improve their lot. ket and to the nearest health facility. We heard many interesting testimonies from villag- • Showing families how to build their own wash- ers. Here are a few: rooms—these are separate outdoor rooms used for sponge baths that are far enough away from The host mother where two students lived for a the house that the run off doesn’t make the yard month said this. "I learned two things being with and house muddy. these ARU students. First, a person with good mor- als gains respect in the community. Second, I used • Inspiring villagers to build and use drying racks to think a good picture was like this one (she points to a poster of Ugandas President Museveni on the for their cassava plants, to preserve them longer wall). Now I know that a good picture is a vision I and to keep them fresh and clean. have in my mind, a picture of the health and happi- ness I can create in this family." • Mobilizing villagers to design and build a new schoolhouse, using both proven and new con- Another woman said, "We are so grateful to these struction techniques. ARU students for being role models for our daugh- ters. Girls here have had no idea of being educated.This one month practicum didn’t lead to breakthrough But now they see these ARU girls who have reachedinnovations, but it did prepare fertile ground. The university and are bringing good things to the vil-villagers went from being argumentative and short- lage." Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research Service For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 28. 28 • Case StudyThe Villagers dance towelcome the ARUStaff and visitors whohave come to hearabout theiraccomplishmentsduring the 1-monthARU practicum. Photo: Nick KornThe ARU students jointhe villagers inenjoying the dancingand celebration. Photo: Nick KornCustomers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 29. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 29 These projects were all successful, not only in HOW TO LAUNCH AND TO REPLICATEcontributing to the development of each village, but YOUR OWN ENGINE OF INNOVATIONin cementing the ARU students’ learning and build- USING THE URDT BEST PRACTICESing their confidence that they can be visionary lead-ers and rural community transformation specialists Steep the Organization, Stakeholders andand change agents. Each team of young women suc- Customers in a Creative Orientationceeded in following Mwalimu Musheshe’s advice: Many organizations and businesses espouse a “Go to the people. “can do” attitude. They hold cultural values of ex- Live with the people. perimentation and innovation. Yet they haven’t in- vested in the education and communication to instill Love the people. creativity and a creative orientation into the organi- Work with the people. zation. There’s a big difference between having a values statement that says we value creativity, inno- Catalyze the development process vation and mistakes and actually training your per- knowing at the end of the day sonnel to both practice and promote a creative orientation. the people will say, ‘We did it ourselves.’” The approach that URDT practices is so simple that illiterate villagers can easily master it. You cre-4. Network them together and to the “mother ate a vision of the outcome you want. You notice theship.” The first group of change agents is just now current reality of where you are today. You cherishready to leave the womb of URDT with their provi- the tension between the desired vision and your cur-sional degrees: Bachelor of Science in Technologies rent reality. You commit to achieving your vision.for Rural Transformation. The degrees will become You experiment until you succeed.final once they have proven themselves in the fieldback in their own communities. The fourth year of Instill Systems Thinking as a Cultural Normthe program is designed as a coaching year, in whicheach change agent will be supported by ARU faculty Everyone who has studied innovation practicesto answer questions and provide guidance as they knows that cross-disciplinary teams are often the keylearn by doing. The graduates will also be networked to successful innovations. People who look at gapsthrough the strong bonds they have formed over the or problems from very different perspectives willthree years and in their women’s circles. They’ll be have breakthroughs that elude those who are steepedconsulting with one another via mobile phone and in one discipline. So by all means, embrace a multi-Internet (as they gain Internet access in their respec- disciplinary approach to innovation.tive villages). ARU plans a series of conferences in But you need to go one more step to steep yourwhich the graduates will be bringing back their tri- team members in holistic, systems thinking. Mostumphs, challenges, and learnings to share with the engineers are trained in systems thinking. TheyURDT community and staff. This informal net- know about feedback loops and oscillation. Theyworked sharing will also become the mechanism for understand that getting the structure right is critical.transferring innovations from one community to They learn to spot environmental issues and exter-other communities. By convening regular meetings nalities that impact the structure of the system theyto share learnings and to show off the results and are designing.inventions that each of their communities has cre- We encourage you to adopt an approach similarated, the ARU graduates will be seeding and spread- to the one that URDT practices. Make systemsing rural development and innovation across Uganda. thinking part of your organization’s way of ap- proaching problems and understanding the world. Instill systems thinking into your daily dialog and practice.Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 30. 30 • Case StudyCommunity memberswere mobilized by theARU students to builda new school buildingfor the village. Photo by Nick KornFor more exponentialprogress, URDT isnow training womenleaders in communitydevelopment and ruraltransformation, tomultiply the supply ofpeople who do thekind of work they havedone, enabling peopleto be in touch withtheir aspirations andmoral capacities forpeace, justice, and acorruption-free society.Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 31. Developing Change Agents to Spawn Grass Roots Innovation and Transformation in Africa • 31Engage Community Members and Steep Them in the Creative Orientation, andStakeholders in Co-Design Train Them to Facilitate Innovation In western, developed countries, we tend to rely Build apprenticeship into your innovation pro-on experts to design and invent things. Yet these gram. Remember that you are training change agentsexperts often lack the deep context that end-users, and facilitators of innovation. They don’t need topractitioners, beneficiaries and customers have. The have all of the answers. They do need to be re-genius of URDT’s approach to grass roots innova- sourceful and well-networked to resources and ideastion and development is that they engage different that will be helpful. Their primary role is to get agroups of community members (different age groups group of knowledgeable customers and stakeholdersand roles) to co-design their ideal outcomes and ap- from different disciplines and with different skillsproaches. Then they have these groups share their and perspectives to come up with new approachesinsights and ideas. Then they come up with a plan of that will enable customers to fulfill their visions.action. The experts are there to lend a hand, to an-swer questions, but not to implement. In developing Send Them Out to Work with Customers incountries, experts’ and outsiders’ solutions are often the Fieldmisunderstood and under-used or abused. Solutionsthat are designed using local practices and local ma- Remember that apprenticeship includes workingterials are much more readily adopted and deployed. in the field with customers and stakeholders and co- designing with customers. Let your change agents inAttract and Train Visionary Change Agents training learn by doing, failing, and learning from their mistakes. Provide coaching and celebrate suc- Once you become successful in customer-led in- cesses.novation, how do you spread that competency be-yond your innovation lab or R&D group or user- Network Them Together and to the “Mothercentered design organization? Identify and recruit Ship”change agents who can spend two to three yearslearning by doing, apprenticing with more experi- Don’t leave your change agents out in the field.enced innovators and change agents. Bring them together to learn from one another, to Once they have achieved a level of mastery, have share their experiences, successes, and failures withthem work on small projects, personal projects and one another. Have them present their field work tolarger projects under the mentorship and coaching of the rest of the organization so that everyone canyour successful innovation change agents. celebrate and appreciate the customers’ points of view and creativity. Continue to grow your network of change agents. Some will leave and spawn new businesses, but will probably continue to serve you well as ambassadors and change agents. Others will rotate back to the core operations, bringing a fresh perspective to keep your organization customer- focused, and your solutions grounded and relevant. Contact: Jacqueline Akello, Director of Programmes URDT Ambassador House Plot 50/60 Kampala Road, Entrance D, Rooms 4/6 PO Box 16523 Kampala, Uganda Tel: +256-414-256704 Mobile +256-772-587557 Email: janake42002@yahoo.com Web: http://www.urdt.netUnauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law. Customers.com® Research ServiceFor Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com © 2009 Patricia Seybold Group
  • 32. About the Author and Patricia Seybold GroupABOUT THE AUTHOR With 30 years of experience consulting to customer-centric executives in technology-aggressive businesses across many industries, PATRICIA B. SEYBOLD is a visionary thought leader with the unique ability to spot the impact that technology enablement and customer behavior will have on business trends very early. She assesses and predicts how new and evolving technologies will impact customers. She forecasts the ways in which both business and consumer customers will make new demands on companies in many different industries. Seybold provides customer-centric executives within Fortune 1000 companies with strategic insights, technology guidance, and best practices. Her hands-on experience, her discovery and chronicling of best practices, her deep understanding of information technology, her large, loyal client base, and her ongoing case study research enhances the thought leadership she provides. Seybold uses a coaching, mentoring, and learn-by-doing consultative approach to help clients achieve their goals as they transform their corporate cultures to be more customer-centric. She helps her clients’ teams redesign their businesses from the outside in by inviting their customers to invent new streamlined ways of accomplishing their desired outcomes, using their own real- world scenarios. Patricia Seybold Group Trusted Advisors to Customer-Centric Executives If youre a visionary customer-focused executive, the Patricia Seybold Group should be your first choice for ongoing strategic advice, business and technology guidance, customer experience best practices, and help with customer-centric initiatives. Founded in 1978 and based in Boston, we provide consulting, research and advisory services, peer groups, and interactive workshops. We help clients to design and continuously improve their customer-focused business strategies and processes using our proven consulting methodology, Customer Scenario® Design. The CEO and founder, Patricia Seybold, is the New York Times best-selling author of Customers.com and The Customer Revolution. Pattys latest book, Outside Innovation, is now available. Patricia Seybold Group P.O. Box 290565 Boston, MA 02129 Phone: (800) 826-2424 or (617) 742-5200 Fax: (617) 742-1028 Email: feedback@customers.com Web: http://www.customers.com/Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com
  • 33. 32 • Case Study1 The Barefoot College was founded by Bunker Roy in 1972 “with the conviction that solutions to rural problems lie within the community. The College encourages practical knowledge and skills rather than paper qualifications through a learning by doing process of education. The College addresses problems of drinking water, girls’ education, health & sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity and power, as well as social awareness and the conservation of eco- logical systems in rural communities. The College serves a population of over 125,000 people both in immediate as well as distant areas. There are now many Barefoot campuses throughout India and in other parts of the world.” From the Barefoot College Web site home page in April, 2009.2 For a brief history of the Grameen Bank and its beginnings in 1976, please go to: http://www.grameen- info.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemid=1643 The approach to the creative process that Robert Fritz developed is now called Technologies for Creating®. It was origi- nally taught as a course called “DMA” by Silvana Veltkamp to Ephrem Rutaboba and Mwalimu Musheshe in the 1980s, and was first chronicled in Robert Fritz’s seminal book, The Path of Least Resistance, (New York: Ballantine Books, re- vised edition, 1989)4 For a good overview of Systems Thinking, see Wikipedia’s articles, starting with: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_thinking. Mwalimu Musheshe also studied with Peter Senge, many of whose prin- ciples are described in his seminal book, The Fifth Discipline, (Doubleday Business, 1994).Customers.com® Research Service Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.© 2009 Patricia Seybold Group For Reprints/Redistribution rights, contact: sales@customers.com